Islands of Information Preventing Reusable Data

In many areas of life data is constantly collected on an increasing scale, but it exists in forms that do not allow you to reuse it effectively. This is an example of one form of important data collected by an Internet Marketer using one the most popular ‘must have’ utilities in this industry, Market Samurai.

As an Internet marketer I use the data that I collect in Market Samurai’s Rank Checker to see how a website is doing on the search engines over time. Market Samurai does lot of useful things with the data that enables me to use the information I need to make decisions upon it, but no matter how effective and useful the program is this data is in a silo. It only exists in the application database of product itself and nowhere else. I cannot use it for anything else unless I manually pick it up and put it elsewhere. Can you guess where? More than likely in Microsoft Excel so I can see what changes I made had a likelihood of impacting rank.

I think this laziness must end.

It is nice to have the tools available to pick up the information and give you essentially what you need but isn’t it so much more useful to have that data in a form that is reusable. In a form that can be connected with information elsewhere and that be combined and newer uses enabled.

So what does this mean? I am certainly not going to scrap Market Samurai just so that I can put the data in a database and reuse it. In fact their Rank Checker is an absolute necessity, they have a lot of things going on in the back end of Market Samurai and the sites it connects to when gathering this ranking data. If you were to try to do it yourself you would certainly learn about how Google reacts to multiple calls on its database, they will essentially slap your IP and not allow you to do anything useful for a few hours. I am sure this ‘do no evil’ company would actually slap you physically now if given half the chance.

So, using the silo is essential – but so is being able to reuse the data. What can you do?

In Market Samurai’s case there is a useful export feature that will allow you to use that gathered data elsewhere. Again, Microsoft Excel comes in handy there because you can pick up this data and many others in CSV format and use it elsewhere. The down side is the manual tasks of doing that. Market Samurai has to be opened, the relevant data selected, the export feature clicked into action, saving the file off, opening up the file in Excel, and so on.

This is a common problem now with most applications you use, even though it is much better than years ago we still have a problem with our ability to effectively use the information we gather.

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